Handpans for schools and youth centres? YES!

We are really, really happy that there are enthusiastic and forward-looking teachers and youthworkers out there who actually write projects, fundraise and aim to make music FUN and INTERESTING for their students. Having access to different musical instruments changes the attitude towards music and provides kids with opportunities to create, not just consume. The world is moving away from “one-kind-fits-all” type of education towards flexible, democratic and child-lead options. Creating a rich and abundant atmosphere for learning it crucial. We are honoured to be part of this change.

We’ve had the luck of making handpans for some schools and youth centres in Estonia and we recently visited Are youth centre to jam with the children and give a simple workshop together with Aile Alveus-Krautmann. Check out the inspiring pictures from Ott Rõngas!

Handpan and music workshop in Are Youth Centre, Estonia; lead by us and the magical Aile Alveus-Krautmann.

Handpan and music workshop in Are Youth Centre, Estonia; lead by us and the magical Aile Alveus-Krautmann.

A huge advantage to handpans is that they are EASY TO LEARN! It takes half an hour max to master the basic technique and the child can start improvising from day one. (Reaching the impro stage with other instruments can take years of every-day practicing). Boys who “never take part in any activities” (according to the youth worker) stayed til the end of the workshop and found it to be an engaging and positive challenge! WIN!

A huge advantage to handpans is that they are EASY TO LEARN! It takes half an hour max to master the basic technique and the child can start improvising from day one. (Reaching the impro stage with other instruments can take years of every-day practicing). Boys who “never take part in any activities” (according to the youth worker) stayed til the end of the workshop and found it to be an engaging and positive challenge! WIN!

THE SOUND IS BEAUTIFUL no matter what. Handpans never make random noise, everything that you create is pretty and soothing. And that’s why it’s easy to start CO-CREATING music also with other instruments and other people. 2 children can either play on one handpan and learn to be mindful of each other, keep the rhythm and allow the other to go for the melody or you can add tongue-drums, kalimbas, strings, pianos or other instruments to the equation. All in all, it’s a seamless, fun and practical way to learn cooperation and later expand this skill also to other fields of life.

THE SOUND IS BEAUTIFUL no matter what. Handpans never make random noise, everything that you create is pretty and soothing. And that’s why it’s easy to start CO-CREATING music also with other instruments and other people. 2 children can either play on one handpan and learn to be mindful of each other, keep the rhythm and allow the other to go for the melody or you can add tongue-drums, kalimbas, strings, pianos or other instruments to the equation. All in all, it’s a seamless, fun and practical way to learn cooperation and later expand this skill also to other fields of life.

It’s not only children who have fun with the handpans, grown-ups are also discovering their inner child! Learning a balanced way to play requires the relaxation of the body and mind. Learning to relax some muscles while using the others builds body-awareness and is a prerequisite to balance and flexibility on the phycial, mental and emotional plane. Mastering this, in turn, leads to CONFIDENCE!

It’s not only children who have fun with the handpans, grown-ups are also discovering their inner child! Learning a balanced way to play requires the relaxation of the body and mind. Learning to relax some muscles while using the others builds body-awareness and is a prerequisite to balance and flexibility on the phycial, mental and emotional plane. Mastering this, in turn, leads to CONFIDENCE!

Interested in buying a handpan for your school or youth centre or for the kids at home no matter their age? Feel free to contact us, together we can find the custom made solution to fit your other instruments or even your crazy dreams!

5 most important things to think about before ordering a handpan

A HUMBLE GUIDE TO THE WORLD OF PURCHASING A HANDPAN

Some people are seasoned swimmers in the handpan ocean and know exactly what they want. Our experience shows, though, that 80% of our customers find it helpful to think things through together with us and to make this process easier, we created a list of the most basic areas to clear out before ordering a handpan. Hope you find it helpful!

1. The MOOD

Handpan scales can be either minor (sad sounding), major (happy sounding) or exotic (sounding…well…exotic). Sunny days are awsome, but sometimes, we just want to stay in and read a book! For us, all of the scale moods carry different tastes of energy, but they are all healing, lifting and connecting. So it just boils down to your personal preference at any given time of your life.

2. The FREQUENCY

We make handpans in 440Hz and 432Hz. For a non-professional in this field, that might say close to nothing. Well, the standard of music in today’s world is 440Hz, so in case you are looking forward to playing together with other handpan players or other instruments all together, we recommend 440Hz. 432Hz is the “old frequency”, instruments used to be tuned by ear and somehow they usually ended up being…432Hz. So one might say it’s more natural to the human ear and to the surrounding world and therefore better for meditative playing and therapy work. It also used to correlate to the frequency of the planet Earth, but some say that even the frequency of planet Earth is changing these days… So we take no rigid view on the preference of the frequency - the choice is up to you and we recommend listening to your inner guidance!

3. The SCALE

Welcome to world of limitless choice. Some scales are more universal (c-major, d-minor), others very specific (taking you to the ancient Egypt or to the streets of Shanghai) . In general there are pentatonic scales, hexatonic scales, 7-note scales and 8-note scales (i know, i know…). And they can start from any note (Heliton Handcrafts currently excludes only Eb center note). When this topic is very new to you, you can think about whether you want a higher sounding scale or rather a low scale. Be sure to listen around our videos and other handpan videos on youtube and just feel into what resonates with you and your intentions and feel free to contact us and discuss in more detail! We are very flexible and most of our instruments are custom made, so we can truly help you to find what you are looking for!

Check out the most basic and popular D-minor scale video example from here.

4. The number of TONEFIELDS

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Most of the tonefields are placed on the upper side of the instrument. In HH, we currently make 7+1(center note) regarding the upper hemisphere. In case you are looking for more tonefields, we can also place up to 4 notes on the bottom hemisphere. There are other makers who create so called “monster handpans” with tons of notes everywhere, but we just like to keep it simple, clean and clear. It is also a possibility to add notelings aka TAKs on the bottom side (check out the Elderflower video below!). These are not crazy popular, but we happen to LOVE them. The price of the instrument may become slightly higher with lots of tonefields on the bottom side.

Check out our Heliton Elderflower handpan video as an example of TAKs.

5. And finally..the PRICE and QUALITY

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Handpans mostly come in the price range of 800-3600 eur, depending on the quality, size, experience of the maker and other factors. The most basic price is around 1200eur to get a decent enough handpan and most of our handpans are also in that price range. Not all makers or resellers value their instruments fairly though, so be sure to check the quality of the sound and the details of the material before you buy! Make sure it’s nitrided (rust resistant) and NOT covered in layer(s) of paint. Check that all the notes are in tune and have the overtones in place (every note consists of the fundamental tone and 2 overtones). When you are not sure yourself whether to buy a specific handpan or not or how to check the tuning, don’t be afraid to contact a professional player or maker to help you out. Even if you consider buying from someone else, we would be glad to help you to figure out whether you are sending your money and energy into the right source!